There is something at the bottom of every new human thought, every thought of genius, or even every earnest thought that springs up in any brain, which can never be communicated to others…; there’s something left which cannot be induced to emerge from your brain, and remains with you forever; and with it you will die, without communicating to anyone perhaps the most important of your ideas.
– Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot
… the essence of living now, fully, not blocking off to what goes on, is conflict. … People stay sane by blocking off, by limiting themselves.
– Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook
There is no glory in being French. There is only one glory : in being alive.
– Jean Giono, Jean le bleu
Resist the anxious wish to fix the instantaneous, to kill that which is living.
– Jean Tinguely, For Static (1959)
She was pleasant and direct, even warm, but there was a privacy about her, a reluctance to bare herself completely to the world.
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah
Beauty, no doubt, does not make revolutions. But a day will come when revolutions will have need of beauty.
– Albert Camus, The Rebel
It’s odd what you have courage for and what you don’t.
– Joyce Johnson, Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir
… freedom which on this earth can only be bought by a thousand of the hardest sacrifices, must be enjoyed unrestrictedly in its fullness, without any kind of pragmatic calculation, as long as it lasts…
– André Breton, Nadja
The important thing is not which books, which experiences, a man is to have, but what he puts into them of his own.
– Henry Miller, The Books In My Life
We are surely doomed to hover continually upon the brink of eternity, without taking a final plunge into the abyss.
– Edgar Allan Poe, Ms. Found In a Bottle
By now I should have learned to fear the calm more than the storm.
– Carolyn Cassady, Off the Road
Passion can make drama out of inert stone.
— Le Corbusier, Towards an Architecture (1923)